At least one person was killed and seven wounded, two of them critically, in a powerful explosion on a railway track on Thursday that ripped apart the engine and a coach of a passenger train in Assam, officials said.
A police spokesperson said the blast took place at 2.15 am at Babubil in Kokrajhar district, about 270 km west of Assam’s main city of Guwahati.
"The Garib Rath Express from Guwahati to Kolkata was at Babubil when the blast took place derailing six coaches," S. Hajong, chief spokesperson of the Northeast Frontier Railways, told IANS.
The injured were shifted to local hospitals, while relief trains have reached the blast site.
"The driver of the train and another passenger received serious injuries, while six coaches were damaged in the impact of the blast," Hajong said.
The dead passenger has been identified as Durlav Chetia of Guwahati.
The remote controlled improvised explosive device was planted on the track over a rail bridge, police said.
"The engine and the first coach bore the maximum brunt of the explosion, while the other four coaches just derailed thereby minimizing the casualties," the railway official said.
"The casualty figure is less since the train was moving at a very low speed while crossing the rail bridge."
Police blamed the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) for the blast.
"The NDFB triggered the blast by planting the explosive on the track minutes before the train was to pass the area," a senior police official said.
The train blast took place even as the Assam government on Wednesday evening sounded a massive security alert with intelligence inputs of serial explosions by the NDFB.
The railways on Wednesday night announced cancellation or suspension of at least six long distance passenger trains due to the threat.
A police spokesperson said radio intercepts of the NDFB revealed a massive plan to trigger a wave of blasts across Assam, mainly targeting trains, bridges, and other vital installations, besides security forces and public places.
Earlier on Wednesday, several trains were stopped with railway police carrying out checking of tracks with information of bombs being planted.